Monday, October 18, 2010

Pedal Points; Bicycle Safety Articles

This week the Sooke News Mirror published the first of a series of articles that I am writing on Cycling Safety. Here is a copy of that article; 

Thanks to Jim Sinclair of the Mirror for the idea "Pedal Points" as the name for the column.

This will be the first in a series of articles to help both cyclists and motorists understand practices that will lead to safer roads and better understanding of each other.

While most of what I will be sharing is generally accepted, proven and taught widely, some of it will be my personal opinion. No doubt there will be difference of opinions. In fact, in some areas, the cycling community can be quite polarized as to the best ways to go about navigating our highways and byways. On one end are the pure “Vehicular Cyclists” that say a cyclist has the same rights as, and therefore should act as any other motorist. On the other end of the spectrum are those that believe cyclists have special rights and are not subject to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles, and therefore act in various, often unpredictable manners. It is my belief that neither of these two extremes is a smart way to act.

Part of the reason these articles are being written is that there are many misconceptions about safe practices for cyclists using public roads. I will be covering things such as visibility, positioning in traffic, sidewalks, hazards, equipment and riding with children .

An excellent resource is the Bike Sense manual published by the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition. If you would like a copy for yourself or your organization, contact The Juan De Fuca Cycling Coalition at 250-664-6492 or look us up on the internet. Copies are also available at Sooke Mountain Cycle.

One of the most effective ways to increase safety and awareness for cyclists is to get out there! Statistics show that the more cyclists are out on the roads, the more aware motorists are and the safer the roads become. So get out there, be safe and have fun!

Stephen Hindrichs

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